What a beautiful day as Folk by the Oak celebrates 10th festival at Hatfield House

PUBLISHED: 09:04 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 18 July 2017

Levellers closed this year's Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House accompanied by fireworks[Picture: Alan Davies]

Levellers closed this year's Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House accompanied by fireworks[Picture: Alan Davies]

Archant

Thousands of music lovers flocked to Hatfield House for this year's Folk by the Oak festival.

Fans and musicians alike praised this year’s 10th Folk by the Oak festival the Hertfordshire stately home on Sunday.

The all-day music festival once again returned to the grounds of Hatfield House with another “line-up of headliners”.

This year’s bill put together by festival directors Adam and Caroline Slough included Levellers, folk favourites Kate Rusby and Show of Hands, new folk collaboration Shake the Chains and blues legend Eric Bibb among others.

And the event went down a storm with the thousands of festival-goers that pitched up at the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field, judging by the rapturous applause the acts got after their sets and the reaction on social media afterwards.

Folk-punk band Levellers closed their main stage with 1997 top 20 hit What A Beautiful Day, accompanied by the festival’s traditional fireworks finale.

And that song title neatly summed up this year’s festival.

There were plenty of delights for music fans to enjoy, both on the main stage and at the smaller Acorn arena for emerging acts.

Having headlined the second Kimpton Folk Festival earlier this month, Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys returned to the county on Sunday and raised the roof of the Acorn tent with their headline set.

They brought the stage’s proceedings to a foot-stamping, euphoric climax – and had the appreciative crowd jumping up and down by the end of their performance, which included a cover of Dire Straits track Sultans of Swing.

Sam Kelly and his talented six-man Lost Boys band release their new album Pretty Peggy in October, and don’t be surprised to see them grace the main FBTO stage in the not too distant future.

The honour of closing the main stage this year fell to Brighton rockers Levellers performing their Levelling the Land album in its entirety.

Mark Chadwick and Co kicked off with One Way and proceeded to rattle through their classic second album, treating fans to renditions of Fifteen Years, Far From Home, Liberty Song and Battle of the Beanfield.

However, the Levellers’ frontman had to stop mid-song at one point to tell a group of die-hard fans in the audience “to chill” as their mosh pit resembled something you’d see at a hard rock/metal festival – after all, the festival is “Folk around the Oak”.

Barnsley singer-songwriter Kate Rusby brought a much mellower sound to the main stage, with her Yorkshire wit and lush, mellifluous voice.

Acclaimed acoustic duo Show of Hands – aka Steve Knightly and Phil Beer – also enjoyed a standing ovation after their early evening set, while Shake the Chains’ protest songs captured the mood perfectly.

Shake The Chains playing the main stage at Folk by the Oak 2017Shake The Chains playing the main stage at Folk by the Oak 2017

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